City Government

Nampa Stormwater “Fee” Could Go Down The Drain

A tax by any other name is still a tax according to the Idaho Supreme Court, but Nampa officials are holding tough on their position a new storm drain tax revenue scheme is just a “fee.”

The Supremes ruled on a Lewiston case last month. The GUARDIAN first broke the Nampa story back in April when officials planned to implement a tax similar to the one the Supremes ruled was improper in Lewiston. The city is caught in a bind, but was inept when it came to honestly telling residents they needed to raise taxes.

Now the City has to defend a lawsuit asking for declaratory judgement to cancel the “fee.” Paul Alldredge of the Caldwell GUARDIAN filed this report:

Republic Storage of Nampa (aka Twin Islands LLC) is seeking declaratory or injunctive relief from “Nampa Storm Water Utility” fees imposed by Ordinance 3928. Republic is asserting the storm water fee is a tax implemented without Constitutional, State Legislative, or police power to enact. Further, Republic is citing this tax/fee as a violation of the Idaho Constitution Art. 7 sec. 5 as the tax/fee amounts to a non uniform tax on all property. Republic also claimed there is no discernible service connected with the Storm Water Utility fees.

Republic is seeking injunctive relief to preclude any further collections of the Storm Water Utility fees pending litigation challenging the validity of Nampa Storm Water Utility fees.

Nampa’s privately contracted legal firm will potentially be able to have a really happy New Year with more legal fees if they defend a class action suit representing 80,000 residents. Seems more responsible to call a tax a tax and live with it.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. They just have huge appetite for money. Spending out of control. Maybe you should feel sorry for the residents who will pay the legal bill, but they are the same residents who voted in those big spending, pin headed officials. Nampa City tax levy is about 2.5% of value since they decided to create urban renewal districts, Treasure Valley Market Place and Garrity, formerly vacant land where there was no urban renewal requirements. Just method to divert hard earned tax money into slush fund.

  2. I can’t figure out why they couldn’t wait to see how the challenge to Lewiston’s storm water decision was decided. You have to hand it to Mayor Dale, he loves spending other people’s money.

    Mel Brooks would say..”It’s fun to be the King”.

  3. In the above comment about the law firm the comment is in error. The law firm is private but there is NO contract according to Nampa City Clerk even though total money sent to this firm every year is in exsess of $500,000. It seems to be we bill –you pay sort of arrangement and has been this way for 30 years. In addition a partner in the same firm handles the Urban Renewel legal work. I have no information whether there is a contract or not for this work.

    EDITOR NOTE–Our “contract” reference was to differentiate from a “legal department or staff.” We also have no idea about the details of the relationship.

  4. when I got my bill I called Nampa central billing they told me “we dont know anything about that” and if I didnt pay they would let it build up awhile then send to collections… sounds like the city doesnt care what the supreme court says, they intend to do things there own way

  5. Were is the cheapest overall taxing situation to live in the entire US? Does anyone know? Maybe some RV’ers?

  6. It is the “Let them eat cake” attitude in Nampa as well as other cities in Idaho that is particularly galling. Most people have taken a real hit to lifestyle, nest eggs and investments but government just keeps spending as if nothing has changed.

    At some point all the smoke and mirror stuff will have to come to a halt and cities will have to adapt to what taxpayers have had to live with since 2008. Our elected officials for the most part don’t get it.

  7. loser emeritus
    Dec 18, 2011, 9:51 pm

    One only has to look at all the buildings and businesses closed up all around the new police/municipal complex. This is Tom Dales priority, building his empire. He needs to be dethroned at the next opportunity along with Pam White.

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